October 25, 2017

Draft of Senate NSA spying bill expands exceptions under which communications of Americans could be collected. “It permits the use of 702 data in any criminal proceeding that “Affects, involves, or is related to” the national security of the United States… or involves, death, kidnapping, serious bodily injury, specified offense against a minor, incapacitation or destruction of “critical infrastructure” (can include even campgrounds!), cybersecurity, including violations of CFAA, transnational crime, including transnational narcotics trafficking, human trafficking (… includes assisting undocumented migration…).”   https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/10/23/the-senate-intelligence-committee-702-bill-is-a-domestic-spying-bill/  “…the bill does not permit judicial review on… the determination that something “affects, involves, or is related to” national security. Meaning Attorney General Jeff Sessions could decide tomorrow that it can collect the Tor traffic of BLM or BDS activists, and no judge can rule that’s an inappropriate use of a foreign intelligence program.”

Big media not doing much to protect journalists arrested during inauguration protests. “Freelancers like Cantú and Wood don’t have major corporations looking out for them with a team of lawyers and PR experts. By ignoring their plight over the last 10 months, major media have reinforced the notion that some journalists are more worth protecting than others.”   http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-johnson-real-media-threats-20171020-story.html

Governor of Maryland signs executive order banning firms that boycott Israel from receiving state contracts. “Hogan said all future state contracts would require companies to certify they will not economically discriminate against Israel, and that if any current state contractors refuse to agree, “they would be terminated”.”   http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-hogan-israel-20171023-story.html

Hong Kong publisher released from detention in China is now missing. “(His daughter) said that when Swedish officials arrived on the morning of his release, they were told by prison officials that he had already left at midnight.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-41734361

Chinese leader Jinping Xi’s “thoughts” enshrined in country’s constitution. “The move on Tuesday elevated his status as one of the country’s most powerful leaders, alongside figures such as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/china-xi-jinping-cements-status-leader-171024182139197.html

Democrats reportedly paid for “opposition research” on Trump’s activities in Russia. “Sources told the newspaper that Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI, after Elias and his law firm Perkins Coie retained Fusion GPS to conduct research on Trump.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/356999-clinton-campaign-dems-helped-fund-research-for-trump-dossier-report

Sandy Hook mass murderer Adam Lanza was obsessed with mass murders, hacked government computers, was a vegan, according to unsealed but heavily censored FBI documents. “Lanza successfully made it past two levels of security before the computer screen went black and agents appeared at his door, the document said.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/24/us/sandy-hook-adam-lanza-unsealed-docs/index.html

55% of white Americans think they are discriminated against based on their race. “I’m not sure that (Trump) necessarily created this angst among white voters,” Cohen said, “but he certainly knew how to take advantage of it.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/10/24/559604836/majority-of-white-americans-think-theyre-discriminated-against

Heather Lind accuses elder Bush of groping her during photo shoot. “When I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a… photo.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5014447/Actress-alleges-George-H-W-Bush-sexually-assaulted-her.html

Palm Beach County deputy arrested for stealing from dead man’s home. “The family reported the incident to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 20 after viewing the surveillance video, but the family said Cooke wasn’t arrested until five weeks later so that the deputy could enter a 30-day drug rehabilitation program.”   https://www.local10.com/news/crime/palm-beach-county-deputy-caught-on-camera-breaking-into-home-family-says

Small firm with two full-time employees landed $300 million post-disaster power contract in Puerto Rico, happens to be headquartered in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown. “There is something very fishy about the Whitefish deal.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/lawmakers-small-montana-business-landed-300m-puerto-rico/story?id=50682108

San Francisco air traffic controller tells Air Canada flight not to land, it reportedly lands anyway. “The tower controller… instructed the Air Canada crew multiple times to execute a go-around because he was not certain that a preceding arrival would be completely clear of the runway before the Air Canada jet reached the runway threshold.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/air-canada-san-francisco-airport-air-canada-flight-781-atc-2017-10

Only 28% of Americans support Trump tax reform push according to poll. “Of those adults who said they had heard of the “tax reform plan recently proposed by congressional Republicans,” just 28 percent said they support it, while 41 percent said they oppose it and another 31 percent said they do not know.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-poll/fewer-than-a-third-of-americans-back-trump-tax-plan-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKBN1CT2TD

Pence casts tie-breaking vote, forcing bank customers to submit to binding arbitration. “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an outspoken (proponent) of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule which sought to restrict use of forced arbitration clauses, condemned both Pence and her Republican colleagues for trying to undermine consumer protections by delivering a “gift to the bank lobbyists”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/24/vp-mike-pence-swings-senate-deliver-wet-kiss-wall-street-tie-breaker

Cindy Sheehan scolds liberals for focusing on trees instead of on the forest. “Where is the movement to oppose U.S. wars, instead of liberal hand-wringing over botched messages of condolence?”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/24/bush-no-better-trump-gold-star-mom-cindy-sheehan-decries-whitewashing-warmonger

NSA obtained 42 search warrants in 2016, collected 151 million phone records. “(NSA) officials argued the 151 million records collected represented a fraction of the number that previously were gathered by the organization.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/nsa-surveillance-agency-collected-more-150-million-phone-records-2016-2534158

Rex Tillerson met Afghan president at U.S. airbase, not in Kabul as reported, photos of meeting were apparently photoshopped. “A press release from the US embassy in Afghanistan includes a photo with the wall above the two men’s heads cropped out. However, another photo tweeted by the embassy clearly shows the (U.S. military) clock and (a fire) alarm, “in what would be a giveaway that it was an American military facility”, the New York Times notes. But in the Afghan government’s photo, there is no clock or alarm…”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41734559

Steven Seagal accused of using “casting couch”. “(Lisa Guerrero) had a friend accompany her to her audition. Afterwards, her manager called with the news that “Steven wants to offer you the lead” but she would have return “to his home for a private rehearsal tonight.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/he-was-notorious-for-this-inside-edition-reporter-exposes-silk-robe-wearing-trump-supporter-steven-seagal/

Black high school student calls cops after men at towing company put him in apparent choke hold, cops cuff student.  “The video shows two men holding Heath down in a choke hold. “I can’t breathe,” Heath can be heard saying.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/watch-police-handcuff-black-honor-student-after-he-gets-attacked-at-towing-company/

New York Times accused of hypocrisy after NYT editorial urges “taking stock” of “forever wars” its editorial board had previously defended. “Left unmentioned in the editorial: from Afghanistan (both the 2001 invasion and Obama’s 2009 surge) to Iraq (the 2003 invasion and Obama re-entering the country in August 2014 to fight ISIS) to Syria (both CIA-backed regime change and bombing ISIS) to Korea to our drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the New York Times has endorsed and often cheered (all) of these “forever wars”.”   http://fair.org/home/nyt-laments-forever-wars-its-editorials-helped-create/

Airlines to implement “short security interviews” for some passengers flying into the U.S. “(The new, stricter rules) will affect 325,000 airline passengers on about 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-airlines-security/airlines-get-ready-for-new-u-s-security-rules-from-thursday-idUSKBN1CT2GE


October 25, 2017

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